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Green Energy Act discussed at Sudbury Workshop

Wednesday, February 18th 2009 1:36:31pm

Media Release

Green Energy Act the Solution to Environmental and Economic Crises is theme of Sudbury Workshop


(Sudbury ON., Feb 18, 2009)-  Citizens from Sudbury and surrounding areas attended a workshop at Cambrian College today, organized by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), a founding member of the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA). A presentation was made previewing what the GEAA anticipates will be included in the Green Energy Act. The Act, which Premier Dalton McGuinty announced on February 3, will be tabled later in the month.

The theme of the morning was quickly established by the opening comments, “A Green Energy Act will bring economic prosperity and new ‘green’ jobs to Ontario, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allow individuals, communities and companies to become energy producers and conservers,” made by Roberto Garcia, Marketing & Membership Services Manager of OSEA.

More than 50 people attended the Sudbury workshop, including numerous business people. Many at the workshop expressed an interest in local, community-owned green power. Panelists who presented at the workshop included a representative from Sudbury Hydro and several green energy developers.

Renewable energy is the solution to both climate change and the economic crisis but to get enough windmills erected, solar panels installed and biodigesters operating, legislation is needed to make renewable energy a provincial priority.
Garcia went on to say, “The fundamental provisions we expect to see in Ontario’s Green Energy Act flow from similar legislation adopted in Germany. That country is now a world leader able to produce 20,000 MW of new green power, developed in less time than it would take to build a 1,000 MW nuclear plant. Germany is also able to meet tough climate change targets by avoiding the emission of 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere a year, while a quarter of a million new green collar jobs have been created, all for just an extra $5 a month per household.  

The GEAA is recommending guaranteed access to the electricity grid for all producers of sustainable energy, priority purchase of green electricity before coal and nuclear power, fair prices, fixed over the long term for renewables and a strong commitment to continually improve conservation and efficiency.

Across Ontario, farmers, First Nations and communities are eager to contribute to the province’s electricity supply by producing clean, renewable energy. However, they are being hindered by outdated regulations that slow the adoption of renewable energy technology, a lack of access to the grid to sell their energy and opposition from lobbyists for the coal and nuclear power industry.

"This is a chance for communities that are willing to get together and develop their own energy infrastructure, whether it be solar, wind, biomass or geothermal power. The Act could be a boon for neighbourhoods in Sudbury, and across Ontario", said Kyle Gascoigne, a student enrolled in the Energy Systems Technology Program at Cambrian College.

For more information, contact:
Kyle Gascoigne, (705)-566-8101x7736 or email kyle.gascoigne@cambriancollege.ca
Roberto Garcia, Marketing & Membership Services Manager, OSEA, 416-801-6921

To request interviews, contact:
Jane Story, Manager Policy and Communications GEAA: 416-977-4441, extension 222
A schedule of all the GEAA workshops in this provincial series can be found at http://www.greenenergyact.ca/Storage/23/1476_Handout_v2_revised.pdf

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OSEA works to initiate, facilitate and support the work of local sustainable energy organizations through membership services, province wide capacity building and non-partisan policy work. They work to catalyze the efforts of community organizers and raise awareness of the benefits of community power and renewable energy through various communication channels and by offering a variety of workshops and guidebooks on topics.

The Green Energy Act Alliance is a network of agricultural, labour, industrial and environmental organizations, and First Nations that support the contribution of green energy to Ontario's electricity system. The Alliance's goal is to have legislation enacted that would make Ontario a global leader in the development of renewable energy, clean distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, and promoting economic prosperity while protecting the climate.